Saturday, December 03, 2022

Saucony 2023 Road and Trail Previews: Kinvara Pro, Endorphin Rift, Ultra Ridge GTX, Triumph 21 & Triumph RFG

Article by Sam Winebaum

Saucony in what is now a “tradition” since the 2019 big introduction of the Endorphin line came in full force with several great new introductions for their 125th anniversary year some of which we can share here now with more to come later in the year.  

Here we preview: Kinvara Pro, Triumph 21, Triumph RFG, Endorphin Rift, Ultra Ridge GTX.

Kinvara Pro ($180)

Wait a max, max cushion Kinvara, the OG low drop, light and lively decently cushioned racer trainer from a big company? Indeed! 

Why not give the name of an earlier ground breaking shoe to a new generation max cushion, today’s emerging trend in an efficient carbon plated that is more friendly and accessible than “pro” types shoe. Not to worry, the Kinvara will continue and can serve as a compliment to the Pro as it is alway good to mix stack heights, flexible vs rigid rocker and drops in a rotation. 

Kinvara Pro will be Saucony highest stack height trainer (or racer) with a 42mm heel and 34 mm forefoot so a 8mm drop. It will have a top layer of PWRRUN PB supercritical foam with the bottom layer a firmer and denser and now lighter PWRRUN EVA/TPU blend which is thicker at the heel than the forefoot. It has a 3/4 length carbon plate for friendlier rear landing most of us have. As in the OG Kinvara the lower outsole grade midsole serves as the outsole.

I think this combination of foams, the ¾ length carbon plate, the 8mm drop, and SpeedRoll geometry will make the ride versatile, and fun for both training and longer races. 

Competitive shoes: New Balance SC Trainer, ASICS Superblast, Adizero Prime X, and at Saucony the 3mm lower heel 1mm higher forefoot stack 4mm drop Endorphin Shift 3. I am pretty sure I will prefer the Kinvara Pro in that last matchup because of the higher drop and plate.

The US size 9 sample weighed 9.07 oz / 257g. Kinvara Pro will be available in August 2023. $180

Endorphin Rift ($170)

Sitting way down the table where Saucony was showing us the line, from a distance I thought I saw what was maybe a new lifestyle shoe in the women’s color Lifestyle shoes are generally not our bag at RTR.. but no the Rift is a new fast and light trail racer with I think a cool friendly look. 

It should have a fast and friendly ride as it has a full stack height of 33mm heel / 27 mm forefoot with the midsole supercritical PWRRUN PB. The men’s spec weight is a very light for stack and outsole 8.6 oz / 244g US9 with the women’s sample we weighed 7.3 oz for a US8.


We have the always solid PWRTRAC outsole the mix as well as a rock plate that may be more substantial than their usual woven plate based approach to provide some front stability as I see a more solid yellow material showing through up front.

I am thinking it will be best where the technical trails Peregrine is too firm and Xodus Ultra a bit too mellow for shorter and faster.

Ultra Ridge GTX ($190)


Let’s stay off road for a bit before moving back to the road.  We hike at RTR and when we heard the weight of this fully featured light hiker with Gore-Tex weather protection we really sat up. At 12.6 oz / 357g in a US men’s 9 we have a very light boot here. 

It’s construction underfoot is similar to the road Tempus in some ways with an outer frame of stabilizing PWRRUN and maybe in a first for a hiker an inner core of supercritical foam, PWRRUN PB which is the same foam as in Kinvara Pro and Endorphin Speed and Pro. Weight explained! The stack height is a substantial 32.5 mm heel / 26.5 mm forefoot. 

It gets a PWRTRAC outsole as the trail runners have with almost full underfoot coverage. I also includes the usual fine more flexible woven rock plate seen in most Saucony trail runners. Wish it was here now as it would be a great winter snowshoe and around town boot but I will have to wait for spring’s late snow and mud where it should be mint. Given its weight and construction, I expect it will also be decently run-able if need be and may be a good choice for FKT type adventures as well as day hikes, fast packing, and potentially thru hiking.  

It will be available in April 2023 at $190.

Triumph RFG ($160)

Saucony motto is Run for Good (RFG) and here with this variant of the Triumph they put in a huge effort to do just that with their most sustainability focused shoe to date. While they don’t brag about it, their recent uppers are way way up there in recycled materials. 

Here they tackle the midsole foam with 55% of the corn based PWRRUN Bio + foam, an outsole containing 80% natural rubber and the upper made from cotton using plant based dyes and thus the classy muted colors.

Same stack height of 37/27 as the regular Triumph it will come in a bit heavier at a still excellent 10.4 oz / 295g US men’s 9 and 9.7 oz / 275g US women’s 8. The RFG will be available May 2023. $160

Triumph 21 ($160)

Saucony’s plush deeply cushioned yet light trainer dramatically improved in ride and lightened in 2022 (RTR Review). The 21 gets a new flat knit upper with a new lacing system and soft collar with midsole and outsole unchanged.

Weight will still check in under 10 oz at 9.88 oz / 280g US9 gaining 6g. Triumph 21 will be available May 2023.

Watch our 15 RTR 2023 Running Shoe Preview Videos at the Playlist below
adidas Terrex, Puma, Topo, Hoka, Skechers, Brooks, Salomon, New Balance, Scott, Scarpa, Speedland, La Sportiva, Craft and Merrill

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Unknown said...

I believe its the Saucony Rift not drift; regardless it looks like a great shoe as long as there are no issues with stability and rolling an ankle.

Angus said...

Would you so that the Rift and Edge are the trail equivalents of the Speed and Pro ? ie both PWRRUN PB foam, one with a plastic/nylon plate and other full carbon

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Angus,
Yes somewhat as far as I can tell noting that the Rift is 3mm lower stack and it "plate" is more for rock protection and lower in the shoe than Pro, Speed or Edge's from what I see although this kind of plate will for sure provide some propulsion. I personally found Edge overly rigid at moderate paces. Fantastic fast and even hiking but get tired/slow on up and downs and the carbon plate was harder to flex on the run than I liked. Here with Rift I expect a more flexible shoe although I did not actually flex it at TRE
Sam, Editor